Plain Language

You might want this service if:

Word cloud of plain english keywords in many colours. "Plain English" is centered, in the largest font size, and colored blue.

  • You need to revise existing material to make it work better for the intended audience.
  • You need to make complex or specialized information understandable by a wider audience.
  • You have to create new material for a wide audience.

What is plain language?

The International Plain Language Federation says “a communication is in plain language if the language, structure, and design are so clear that the intended audience can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information.”

Plain language considers the audience and purpose, structure, and design of a document and then applies the principles of good writing and good design to make it easy to understand.

Plain language treats readers kindly by putting their needs first. It doesn’t oversimplify or talk down to anyone.

Plain language makes documents easier to read and understand, so you spend less time explaining or correcting misunderstandings. It can save people and organizations time, effort, and money.

Plain language makes it easier to communicate complex ideas quickly. Using it helps busy people understand your writing, even when they can only skim it.

What I’ll do:

  • Consider the audience and purpose, structure, and design of the document being developed or revised.
  • Improve paragraph and sentence construction to more effectively convey meaning.
  • Improve word choice to more effectively convey meaning.
  • Reduce wordiness.
  • Eliminate jargon and other specialized terminology where possible.
  • Review visual elements to ensure they are uncluttered, well designed, logically located in the text, and easy to understand.
  • Review organizational elements to ensure the reader can find, understand, and act on necessary information.
  • Conduct user testing of the document and analyze feedback, as needed.

 What you’ll get back:

  • New or revised document file(s) ready for further testing or production.